My Grandma's story...bad outcome...could be scary to some
My grandmother was an active 85 year old. She played Bingo every Tuesday and Thursday night, she lived independently, and was still an excellent driver. She loved cooking, shopping, and eating. She kept up with the entire family's business which drove some of us crazy. She was very sharp, I can only hope my mind is that good at 85.
After losing my grandfather in Oct 2005 me and my parents made sure my grandmother went for regular checkups with her doctor and continued to live a healthy life. In 2006 my grandma was told she has colon polyps and needs surgery to remove them. The surgeon said this would prevent them from developing into cancer in the future. He did say theres no guarantee they would ever be cancerous. He also said my grandma is strong and healthy and the surgery should go smoothly. He encouraged us to encourage her to "do the right thing". My grandma had the surgery March 2006. She did not come out of the athesthia very well at all. For three weeks she had dementia, couldn't bathe or feed herself, didn't recognize her family. Finally and miracleously after being given fluids she "woke up". Her incision came open and it had to be washed and bandgaged daily by a home health care nurse. It took about 6 months for the incision to heal on its on. Finally my grandma was back to normal. She wasn't as sharp as before, she would have trouble saying what she was thinking. She gave up driving but still enjoyed her Bingo two nights a week. She had a good quality of life.
Jan 2008...severe stomach pain sent her to the emergency room. Doctors said she needs exploratory surgery or she will die. They agreed to only lightly sedate her due to her terrible time with anesthesia before. She ended up having 3 feet of intestine removed. Doctors said oxygen was cut off to part of the small intestines. He mentioned scar tissue from the prior surgery. She was discharged from the the hopsital and went to a nursing home for rehabilitation. She had a colestomy bag. She continued to deteriorate. One June 15, 2008 she died in her sleep.
The death certificate came today. The cause of death: ischemic bowel disease due to ischemic artherosclerotic
Did the preventive surgery of having the colon polyps removed cause my grandma to die? How could a doctor think it was wise to start opening up an 85 year old? When i saw the doctors bill for the intestine surgery and saw it was $135,000 it really had made me question if we did the right thing by encouraging her to have the colon polyps removed. And if the doctors were honest with us about possible outcomes. I stronly believe if she never had the colon polyp surgery she would be hear right now watching a Braves games.